MK Dons manager Karl Robinson had high praise for Northampton as he admitted his side needed luck to be on their side to snatch a replay and deny the Cobblers victory in Saturday’s FA Cup third round tie.
Despite lying 30 places above Northampton on the football league ladder, Dons were second best for much of an excellent cup tie as Ricky Holmes’ superb brace had the Cobblers on course for a fourth round spot, only for Nicky Maynard to stab home a late leveller.
“It’s cruel on Northampton. They probably deserved more than what they got,” confessed Robinson afterwards.
“We were excellent for the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes, and in the middle hour? Poor.
“But this is the FA Cup. The weather was horrible and the pitch made it very difficult
“The most important thing is that we’re still in the FA Cup, and we’ll take them back to stadium:mk. And if we win it, we’ll be in the fourth round, and that’s great.
“I’d rather have a replay than not be in it. Not until we’re out of this competition will we give up on it. We could have easily thrown the towel in with 20 minutes to go, 2-1 down.
“But we didn’t and we stuck at it until the end, on a day we weren’t good. They’re traits we have to show until the end of the season. I don’t care that they’re a League Two team, it’s a mentality you have to have.
“Northampton had the middle area of the pitch and did very well. They pressed us really well, so we dropped and tried to play a little bit longer rather than retaining the ball.
“After going 1-0 up, we went off it a little bit but the most important thing is that we’re in the hat for the draw on Monday night.
“Football is swings and roundabouts. Today we might have ridden our luck, but that’s only because of our work ethic all season.
“Chris Wilder’s sides always have high intensity and you can see why they’re at the top end of League Two.
“In a local derby away from home when we haven’t been at our best, against a team that are flying, we’re not out. That’s important for me.
“Northampton might be disappointed not to be through but we’ve had disappointments all season and that’s the way football is.”